Salukis lose two, win one on weekend at Itchy Jones Stadium

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

Southern Illinois baseball played Northwestern (twice) and Butler (once) on the weekend from March 25-27. The first and last game was played against the Wildcats, while the middle was played against the Bulldogs.

The Salukis didn’t have much luck against Northwestern this weekend. SIU started off on Friday with a tough 10-4 loss.

Northwestern started the game strong, scoring three runs in the first inning alone. Then, they went on to score one in the third, and two in the fourth.

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They even laid on one more point in the top of the fifth before SIU eventually score two runs, in the bottom of the fifth, to make the score 7-2. While the Salukis managed to outscore the Wildcats in the sixth, 1-0, Northwestern put on two more in the top of the eighth.

Northwestern held a commanding 9-3 lead.

Both teams scored one more point in their respective innings, closing the game out at 10-4, Wildcats with the win.

The second day was better luck for the Dawgs. They decided to take out their frustration on the Butler Bulldogs, beating them down 16-4.

Butler scored first at the top of the second with just one run, but then, SIU put up five runs in the bottom of the second to hold an aggressive lead.

The Bulldogs scored one more yet again, only to be outmatched by the Salukis with three in the third inning. SIU led 8-2 just heading into the fourth inning.

Neither team scored in the fifth, but then Southern Illinois exploded for six more in the sixth inning. Now, Southern Illinois held a 14-2 lead.

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Each team scored once in the eighth, and Butler finished the game off with only one in the ninth, ending the game early 16-4.

With more momentum, the Salukis hoped they could knock off Northwestern to close the weekend. Unfortunately, their efforts were futile, resulting in another loss.

It wasn’t all bad for the Salukis, despite Northwestern putting two on the board early at the top of the second inning. Southern Illinois rallied to take a 4-2 lead at the end of the third. Neither team scored again until the seventh inning.

The Salukis unraveled, allowing four runs to the Wildcats at the top of the seventh. SIU only managed one point to counter. Northwestern held a 6-5 lead.

It became much worse in the eighth for the Salukis. Northwestern scored a whopping eight runs to push their lead to nearly double digits. SIU would need a miracle to come back from the deficit, but could only manage one more run.

Northwestern scored again while keeping SIU scoreless at the bottom of the ninth. The Wildcats had won, 15-6.

Senior outfielder J.T. Weber still managed to have a great weekend, totally three home runs. Junior outfielder Cody Cleveland and senior infielder Grey Epps also had a standout weekend as well.

The Salukis play their next game this Tuesday, March 29, against UT Martin. The Skyhawks won the first contest this season, so SIU hopes to get their revenge at home.

Sports Reporter Cole Daily can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at cdaily_de

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